Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Mysteries of God Given to Paul the Apostle (Part 1) - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/11/mysteries-of-god-given-to-paul-apostle.html
“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2nd Corinthians 12:1-4)
Saul of Taurus, who became Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, (Romans 11:13) was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life in the service of Almighty God. Being transformed from the greatest enemy of Jesus Christ, Paul became the greatest evangelist and God's greatest servant at a point in God's timing where God's focus and plans took on a dramatic shift from focusing on Israel as the source of blessing to the world, to focusing on a mostly Gentile body, known as the Church.
It was Paul's God given mission to establish this church, and the church began with him. To him, we owe a debt of gratitude that he was sold out to God and God used him to bring us the truth of God's Word. In the verses above, Paul speaks of a time when a man, (I believe Paul was referring to himself) was caught up to heaven and heard revelations and what Paul spoke of as “mysteries” that were not revealed to any other prophet, or even the twelve apostles of our Lord. It was not spoken of in the Old Testament, and was not spoken of in the New Testament until Paul arrived and was given the mysteries of the plan for mankind that were revealed to him alone by the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You ask, “When did this happen?”.
Remember what happened after Paul was given his sight by Ananias? According to the account of Paul's conversion in Acts 9 the Lord stated twice that He would show Paul what to do and what would happen to him for the Gospel's sake. However, Paul immediately began to show from scripture that Jesus was the Christ and apparently displaying his capability to communicate well to the Jew, but his ministry ultimately was to the Gentiles. This was something that would not go down well for some one trained in the sect of the Pharisees and the Jews did not receive the message Paul preached.
So if Paul was to go Arabia how do we understand what is written in Acts 9. Verse 23 states that "After that many days were fulfilled" the “after that” would refer to Paul's showing the Jews that Jesus was the Christ many days past? This would work in very well with Paul's traveling to Arabia when rejected by the Jews. Here we will discuss a few of those mysteries, that God gave Paul, and the Apostle Paul gave to us.
God in the form of the Risen Christ, instructed Paul by revelation on the “mysteries” that had not been revealed in times past, but only hinted at when Isaiah wrote similar language as did Paul, about what we can expect in the near future.
19 “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of hplace to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)
Many people read right over this passage above and don't see what Isaiah was telling us. The Apostle Paul fleshed it out for us in 1st Corinthians and 1st Thessalonians, when he made known the “mystery” that was hidden from the understanding of those in Old Testament times. Paul made known to us, many mysteries of God.
Paul was being commissioned to take the Gospel of salvation through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and that it was by grace that we are saved:
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Paul stayed for three years in the Arabian desert. Paul didn't go to the Apostles, but was led, much like Jesus was led into the wilderness, to be instructed by God Himself on “secrets” that had not been revealed prior to the calling of Paul on the road to Damascus.
THE MYSTERIES OF GOD
The word “mystery” is a confusing translation, as it can mislead the reader of what mystery means and what Paul is talking about. Is it “weird, strange, or an enigma” which is the common interpretation of the word in the English language? No, the word is Greek (μυστήριον ) It means a “secret”–something kept hidden, something previously not revealed. Paul used the term to describe the body of doctrines the risen, ascended, glorified Lord revealed to him. God alone can keep a secret and He had kept these revelations hidden until He chose to disclose them. I believe God waited until Jesus had ascended on High with God our Father and chose Paul as His minister to share this truth of God's Plan for Mankind. Paul called these doctrines “secrets” for this was what they were. What were these secrets that Peter and the other apostles knew nothing about?
As the opening scripture speaks of, Paul was taken away, translated via the Spirit of God into the Third Heaven, and heard words that were not lawful for a man to hear. At least not in regular Judaism, as they were Holy and revealed by the most Holy God, Jesus the Christ. Let us briefly touch on a few of these mysteries, or “secrets” that our risen Lord revealed to Paul and to him alone to change the focus of the Lord's plan for the redemption of mankind, by setting aside Israel for a predetermined span of time, until the fullness of the Gentiles had come in which has been going on for the last 2000 years.
25 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”(Romans 11:25-27)
THE SECRET GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD
Paul preached what he called “his Gospel” that focused on the mercy and grace of God, instead of the coming Kingdom of God. He said it many times in his epistles to the churches of his day. Did not the Apostles preach this Gospel? No, not until Paul taught them as a new revelation, that salvation came but by grace.
Paul declared his gospel was, “kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested.” Paul wrote that by revelation he went to Jerusalem to communicate the gospel that he preached:
2 “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” (Galatians 2.2).
It was a “secret” until the ascended Lord revealed it to Paul. What was the gospel John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve proclaimed? They preached the “gospel of the kingdom of God” (Matthew 4.23; 9.35; Mark 1.14-15) The focus of the Gospel before Jesus was risen and ascended back to the Father in heaven was to preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This was the content of the Gospel preached by Jesus and the 12 apostles. It was even preached upon the conversion of Paul for a time, as he declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Each of the apostles believed that the Kingdom of God was imminent in their life-time and they would be a part of that Kingdom. No where in the scriptures do the Apostles preach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, until Paul came and taught them upon returning from the wilderness experience with our Risen Lord, Jesus our Messiah. Read the scriptures for yourself, and you will find that no one but Paul introduced salvation through faith. Beforehand, the apostles preached salvation through repentance and baptism which is what Peter proclaimed in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost:
37, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38, Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:37-38)
But even Peter did not emphasize the finished work of the cross through the blood of Jesus Christ, as the cross was deemed a curse. Now each are necessary that Israel believe that Jesus was the Messiah, to be baptized out of obedience to the example of Jesus Christ, but Paul preached a “mystery” that there is nothing we can do by doing this or that, as salvation comes only by faith and the pardon of our sins is a gift of God. It is a bestowing of the mercy and grace and unmerited favor that is imparted to those who believe on Jesus Christ and His finished work when crucified, resurrected and ascended back into heaven's realm to sit at God the Father's right hand. There is no action, no work, no tradition, no ceremony that one can do what is required for the remission of our sins, but the blood sacrifice of Jesus for payment of the sins of the world and our justification, finalized with the Lord's resurrection, leading to our sanctification that takes our whole lives to be refined into the image of Christ, and for our future glorification along with Him.
Paul wrote the Corinthians,
1 “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)
This “secret” mystery was a total change in the concept of salvation as Paul preached salvation through faith alone
THE SECRET OF THE BLINDING OF ISRAEL
God laid the groundwork for His creation of a new race of people, the Jews, with His calling of Abraham. Through the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God began to reveal Himself. From that point until the time when the ascended Lord commissioned Paul, God dealt with mankind through the nation of Israel. To the Jews belonged the adoption, glory, and covenants, etc.
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1-5)
11 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”(Ephesians 2:11-13)
24 “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."(Acts 3.24-26).
God revealed His prophetic plan through the Jewish prophets. But because Israel rejected the timing of the visitation of their Messiah, the Kingdom would be given to another to bear the fruits thereof. But at the end of the Age, all Israel would be redeemed.
What had been unknown was the when and the how. Paul revealed that following Israel’s rejection of their Messiah that the nation’s salvation would not occur “until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in.” Jesus proclaimed to them prior to Paul, when the apostle Matthew wrote about Jesus scolding the Pharisees:
42 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.” (Matthew 21:42-45)
No where in scripture does it make mention of the temporary blinding of Israel and God’s creation of the Church, the body of Christ, during this blindness. These truths are found nowhere in the Old Testament. Why? Paul declared these things were a secret of God. A partial hardening–not total and not forever–would last until the fullness of the Gentiles occurred, and until the body of Christ was complete.
24 “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.”(Romans 11:24-28)
After that, all Israel, the entire nation, every single Jew alive on earth who will recognize Jesus as the Messiah, will be saved ...so much for Replacement Theology. This heresy of Replacement theology flies in the face of what Paul revealed to the world through his Gospel that the Jews, all of them alive would be saved.
At the end of the Tribulation, at the end of the great Day of the Lord, all Jews will believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. They will go into the promised kingdom
14 “If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.” (Romans 11:14-18)
.7 “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:”(Isaiah 66:7-10)
(also see Matthew 6.10). Unlike the generation of Jesus’ day who failed to repent and experience the kingdom, the Tribulation generation will respond and believe Jesus is Messiah (See Matthew 23.39, cf. John 10.16). God is sovereign and has promised through his prophets that Israel would enjoy the kingdom (Romans 9.29 cf. Deuteronomy 28.1-14). God will keep His word.
THE MYSTERY OF THE HARPAZO OF THE CHURCH.
This mystery of the return of Jesus Christ for His church was something that no one in all of the pages or verses of your Bible was given this revelation. It was given to Paul the Apostle exclusively through Jesus Christ our Lord when Paul as previously mentioned, was in Arabia and experienced the “translation” into the third heaven to hear words that should not be uttered quoted at the beginning of this message. Why was it a “secret”? Because the return of Jesus Christ, our Lord after the Day of the Lord, called His Second Advent, was common knowledge in the Old Testament prophets. Like the prophet Zechariah:
“3, Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4, And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5, And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” (Zechariah 14:3-5)
Not only Zechariah, but many of the minor prophets like Amos, Joel, or Haggai, and the major prophets made mention of the coming of the Lord to set up His Kingdom at the end of the age. So this was not something new...this was not a secret, as it had been clearly revealed prior.
This snatching away, (the before not mentioned revelation of the removal of the church, some call “rapture”) is the resurrection of the Church, the body of Christ. In this divine event members of the body of Christ will receive their resurrection bodies. When the body of Christ has been made complete God will take His body unto Himself. Paul called this occurrence the “fullness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11.25) since the body of Christ is composed primarily of Gentiles. The word Paul used for the Rapture was ἁρπάζω which is the word HARPAZO, which literally means “to seize” or “to snatch away by force.” Our English word “rapture” comes from the Latin “rapiemur” which is the word Jerome used in the Latin Vulgate to translate ἁρπάζω. Paul revealed the secret of the Rapture when he wrote the church at Corinth:
51 “ Behold, I tell you a mystery [secret]; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”(1st Corinthians 15-51-53)
Paul went on to elaborate when he wrote the church in Thessalonica about the order of this resurrection:
13 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4.13-18).
IN the passage above Paul gives the sequence of the “catching away” of the body of Christ. The dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain will be changed “in the twinkling of an eye”...both groups will meet the Lord in the air, meaning those who are alive and changed and will never experience physical death, but given immortal spirit bodies right along with the resurrected saints who have died in faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words for “moment” and “twinkling” are ἄτομος and ῥιπή. The thought here is that this will occur instantaneously.
This return of the Lord is an entirely different event from His return to save Israel and the nations at the end of the Tribulation. As Jesus told us that the end of the age will be as in the days of Noah, or people going about their everyday routines of life, not knowing that their destruction is at hand. At the end of the Tribulation, men and women will NOT be going about their everyday lives, but trying to survive in a world gone mad. It will be no secret that judgment has come and Jesus will not come as a Thief in the night. In the first return, the Lord will meet the body of Christ in the clouds (a heavenly return for a heavenly people, (Ephesians 1.3). Some scoff and label is an “escape hatch” from the coming Tribulation, but I prefer to call it “victory in Jesus” over this world. In the second return, the Lord will return to earth, (an earthly return for an earthly people,( Zechariah 14.4). God our Lord Jesus will claim what is His and bought with His own blood, and will rule the world with a rod of iron. The Rapture is the “blessed hope” of the body of Christ
13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2.13-14)
And the coming of the Lord was Paul’s personal hope:
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10, That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11, If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:9-11)
Concerning this doctrine, Paul had to correct false teaching, when one posing as Paul or preaching a different Gospel proposed that the Day of the Lord had already happened, and that Nero was the Ant-Christ. This false prophet refuted Paul's teachings concerning this “catching away” of the saints and the people were sorely afraid, as they thought and believed erroneously that they had missed the return of Christ and were heading into the Tribulation. Paul wrote them to admonish and refute this false notion in the second letter to the Thessalonians:
1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”(2nd Thessalonians 2:1-5)
Even today, people try to rationalize what God is going to do and that Bible prophecy is a non-starter and everything has been accomplished. They are what are known as Preterist and have a problem explaining what the book of Revelation has to reveal.
No one spoke of this “secret”, this mystery of the “catching away” of the church, the fullness of the Gentiles, until Paul revealed what Jesus had told him alone in revelations, being taught by Jesus personally. Jesus never mentioned it in his earthly ministry and the Twelve Apostles never mentioned it in their writings. That changed when the glorified Jesus Christ told the Apostle John in Revelation 3:10 that we would be taken “OUT OF” the coming Tribulation, not experiencing the event or going through and enduring the time of God's wrath, which I have covered in past messages. All non-Pauline writings of Christ’s return speak of His return to earth at the end of the Tribulation found in the Old Testament, that is unless you discern what John wrote in Revelation, and the Lord God revealed to him about 30 years after Paul was slain by Emperor Nero.
All the prophets from Ezekiel, Isaiah, to Zechariah, Malachi, Amos and the rest of the minor prophets spoke of the coming “Day of the Lord” where God would come in wrath to take revenge on a God rejecting world, in favor of worshiping a false god, the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation.
THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST
But the Apostle Paul spoke of a different day. He called it the “day of Christ” or the day of the Lord Jesus. The “day of Christ” is a day of deliverance, not a day of judgment. The “day of Christ” is the return of Christ for his body, the Church, or the Rapture (the HARPAZO). Associated with this day of deliverance is judgment of the believers works. Paul wrote the Corinthians about this :
10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet as through fire.”(1st Corinthians 3:10-15)
This is the Bema Judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not a day of judgment , but a day of rewards for the saints of God that have done deeds for Christ and are receiving rewards for their service, or the lack thereof, but “being saved as though by fire”.
Paul spoke of many more mysteries, “secrets” that I will address in a part 2 of continuing this message, but I'll leave it there for this time.
As you read these “secrets” that Paul shared with you and I today, our time of the soon coming of our Lord is an event that Paul looked down the annals of time and knew not when they would happen. All he knew is that Jesus had commissioned him a preacher of the Gospel of the risen Lord and to establish His church on this earth. His work survives and the words he wrote from what he saw and heard, are with us for our own salvation through faith and belief in the Son of God, crucified, buried, and resurrected the third day according to the Scriptures. What I have witnessed to you, is a salvation message in a nutshell and a rewards banquet that is fast approaching.
Will you be at that Bema Judgment seat along with all of have believed by faith, not of works, lest any one of us should boast? Will you stand with me, as we all hold hands and raise them in worship to the King of kings, and Lord of lords, my God and yours, Jesus Christ, the Lord God Almighty? It all is encapsulated in the whole point of this message and the point of the whole of the Bible:
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son,
That whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17, God sent not His Son into the world, to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved,
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ” (John 3:16-18)
I've given you three powerful, witnessed mysteries (secrets and there are more) that was revealed only to Paul and no one else. He wrote the major portion of the New Testament of the Christ who changed him from Saul, the persecutor of the saints, into Paul, the faithful, powerhouse witness of the saving Grace and Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father. Now my last witness (plea) I want to leave you with “What will you do with these mysteries (secrets) given to us by the Apostle Paul? Will you embrace them for the salvation of your soul, or will you put it off and think you can do it another day, or if at all? Don't wait another day, as you are not promised tomorrow.
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:8-11)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you receive the Lord Jesus as personal Savior today. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, OR visit me online for more on Bible based teaching on Prophecy and the Salvation through no other than Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Election Reflections Thus Far – Michael Brown - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4387
1) Once again, the polls got it wrong.
Nothing could be more self-evident, with so many polls getting so many states wrong (both for president as well as senators). As much as we were told that the pollsters had corrected their errors, they obviously had not.
While these inaccuracies definitely seem tied to the Trump phenomenon, it will be quite some time before the pollsters will be trusted again, except for those which were accurate in both 2016 and 2020. As expressed by pollster Frank Luntz, "The political polling profession is done. It is devastating for my industry."
2) There was no blue wave. Quite the contrary.
Rachel Maddow put it like this: "It's been remarkable to see the stability not only between the 2016 and 2020 presidential map, but also in Congressional races and Senate races up and down. On either side, you're not seeing -- not only no wave, it's like a pond where you drop in a rock and there's no ripples."
The GOP actually grained ground in the House and looks to hold its majority in the Senate.
This would indicate that there was neither a national repudiation of Republican policies nor an embrace of Democratic policies. As for the differences between the two presidential races, with Trump winning decisively in the electoral college in 2016 and, at best, hoping for a narrow victory now, the best explanation appears to be this: Americans turned against the person of Trump rather than the policies of Trump.
3) There is a massive crisis of trust.
This crisis has been building steadily during the Trump presidency. It has been fueled by: truly fake news; interference by the internet giants; mistrust in the government's handling of the coronavirus; the exponential rise of conspiracy theories; Trump's masterful way of creating distrust.
Now, with the president already calling the election a "fraud," we are in a very precarious situation.
Let us hope that there will be a way to count accurately every legitimate vote and that the doubts and questions will be put to rest. As a people, we deserve nothing less.
Where there has been fraud, let it be exposed. Where there have been false claims of fraud, let those be exposed too. And let those who have believed every conspiratorial lie regain their senses.
4) If Trump does get reelected, it will be with God's help.
I argued for this in 2016, and once again, it seems that this would be the case if Trump is reelected, given the array of obstacles against him and given the amount of prayer that went up to heaven in recent months.
As I posted on Facebook once the voting started, "In order to be reelected, Trump has to overcome: 1) An incredibly hostile media; 2) The internet giants; 3) The pandemic; 4) The lockdowns & economic downturn; 5) Massive social unrest; 6) Liberal academia; 7) A hostile Hollywood; 8) His own shortcomings.
Without God's help, I don't see it happening. With His help, it's easily done."
Of course, this doesn't mean that Trump has divine sanction for whatever he does. It simply indicates that there was divine activity to push him over, if that happens. As to my reflections on God's potential purposes in doing so, stay tuned.
5) The economy has been a bigger factor than the virus.
As the New York Times reported:
As the country faces a dual national crisis -- a months long pandemic and economic devastation -- voters were deeply divided on what mattered more: containing the coronavirus or hustling to rebuild the economy, according to early exit polls and voter surveys released Tuesday.
Their opinion of which was more important fell along starkly partisan lines, with those who viewed the pandemic as the most pressing issue favoring Joseph R. Biden Jr. for president, while those who named the economy and jobs broke overwhelmingly toward re-electing President Trump.
6) Trump succeeded in increasing his Black and Latino support.
Of course, the data is just starting to come in, but even last night, headlines like this were appearing: "How Latinos in Miami-Dade County helped Trump win Florida. Biden needed to win big in Miami-Dade County. But Trump ate into his margins among Latinos." And then this, posted already on November 2: "The Trump vote is rising among Blacks and Hispanics, despite the conventional wisdom. Perceptions of Trump as racist seem to be a driving force pushing whites away. Why is it the opposite for those he's purportedly being racist against?"
The answer to this last question would seem to be that, when it comes to the person on the street, an increasing number of Blacks and Hispanics recognize that Trump, in fact, has done a lot to help them. Accordingly, they do not believe he is a racist. As for Hispanics in Florida, many of Cuban descent, they want nothing to do with socialism. Of course many supported Trump.
7) Charismatic prophets are about to be vindicated or humiliated.
A colleague of mine wrote a book documenting the many prophetic words that predicted a Trump victory in 2016, some of them delivered well before the primaries.
Throughout this year, as I have inquired among my charismatic, prophetic colleagues, virtually every one of them held steady, predicting a Trump victory, regardless of how dire things looked.
I checked in with one friend today, asking this if he remained sure of his prediction. He responded, "Yes," and then added this: "There are no prophets I trust who have not also said Trump will win. I have felt confident in the chorus of mature prophets. Suppose he does lose, I would have no explanation for how everyone (including myself) missed it? Blaming it on the devil or fraud in stealing the election would seem immature or an excuse."
I agree with this assessment. There has either been a spirit of mass deception poured out on these leaders (as in 1 Kings 22 in the Bible) or they will be proved right.
8) People of faith should keep praying and putting their trust in God for His desired outcome, whatever that may be.
As I just tweeted, "Of this we can be sure: if God has ordained a Trump victory, no amount of alleged voter fraud or dishonest tactics can overturn that. Let us continue to pray, 'Your will be done,' trusting that whatever His will is, He will bring it to pass."
I rest secure in that, whether the next president is Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
9) God remains God.
Just a friendly reminder.
The American people deserve explanations for these “election anomalies” - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-american-people-deserve-explanations-for-these-election-anomalies
The big news networks seem to be pretending that they aren’t there, but the truth is that there are some very serious statistical “anomalies” that really need to be explained. The integrity of our elections is of the utmost importance, and over the last 24 hours I have seen some things that concern me greatly. I think that the mainstream media is assuming that they can just go ahead and declare victory for Joe Biden and that all of these “anomalies” will soon be forgotten, but I don’t think that Trump and his supporters will let this go. The stakes in this election are so high, and it won’t be so easy to sweep things under the rug like we have seen in the aftermath of past elections.
For example, while the vast majority of Americans were sleeping very early on Wednesday morning, a huge number of votes were suddenly reported in Michigan and every single one of those votes were for Joe Biden…
So while everyone was asleep and after everyone went home, Democrats in Michigan magically found a trove of 138,339 votes, and all 138,339 of those “votes” magically went to Biden? That doesn’t look suspicious at all.
Initially, Trump had a huge lead in Michigan, but this vote dump was critical in helping to swing the state over to Biden.
In addition, there is also a report of large numbers of votes being brought in to one counting facility in Michigan under very suspicious circumstances…
Last night at TLC (formerly Cobo Hall) where absentee ballots for Wayne County (Detroit) are being counted, a Ferrari, a van and a Chrysler 300 (I think) all pulled up into facility (large garage doors) with ballots inside vehicles. All three of them had out of state plates. This is an ANONYMOUS tip.
Also, they’re counting military ballots now. I heard around 7k.
Every military ballot has to be duplicated (re-written). I don’t know why. This is very concerning.
Perhaps it was completely legitimate for those ballots to be transported in that manner in the middle of the night, but the American people deserve an explanation.
On top of everything else, many have pointed out that the vote count in Antrim County, Michigan appears to be exactly the opposite of what it should be…
There was also something suspicious about the vote reporting in Antrim County, Michigan, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 30 points in 2016. Initial vote totals there showed Biden ahead of Trump by 29 points, a result that can’t possibly be accurate, as plenty of journalists noted.
This is something that the Trump team needs to take to court, because otherwise it will soon be forgotten by everyone.
In Wisconsin, we have also been witnessing some very unusual things.
Trump had a huge lead in Wisconsin throughout the night of the election, but then a massive vote dump at the last minute swung the state to Biden.
Most of those votes came from the Milwaukee area. According to the official results, seven voting wards in Milwaukee actually reported more votes than the number of registered voters on their books…
Seven City of Milwaukee voting wards reported more 2020 U.S. Presidential election votes than they had registered voters, according to an analysis of results and Secretary of State files.
Five of them are in the city’s eleventh aldermanic ward, on the city’s far Southwest Side.
Theoretically, that should be impossible.
You shouldn’t have more votes than you do voters, but somehow that apparently happened.
That really, really stinks, and this is another thing that the Trump legal team really needs to look into.
Overall, turnout in Milwaukee was way, way above historical norms. In 2016, statewide turnout in Wisconsin was 67.34 percent, but somehow voting wards all over the city were reporting turnout levels greater than 80 percent…
Of the city’s 327 voting wards, 90 reported turnout of greater than 90 percent; 201 reported turnout higher than 80 percent.
In 2016, city voter turnout was 75 percent.
All along, everyone knew that the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were going to be so critical in this election.
And just like we witnessed in Michigan and Wisconsin, late vote dumps are also changing the results in Pennsylvania.
For example, one batch of 23.277 votes from Philadelphia were all for Joe Biden. The following was tweeted by FiveThirtyEight…
Two more batches of Pennsylvania vote were reported:
-23,277 votes in Philadelphia, all for Biden
-about 5,300 votes in Luzerne County, nearly 4,000 of which were for Biden
Yes, Philadelphia is heavily blue, but it is literally statistically impossible for one candidate to get 23,277 votes and the other candidate to get zero votes.
Unless these statistical anomalies are explained, I don’t know how anyone can ultimately accept the results of this election as being legitimate.
Trump initially had huge leads in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and if he had won all three of those states he would have won another term.
And maybe he should have won all of them, and that is why we need recounts in all three states.
In addition to recounting all of the votes in all three states, each ballot also needs to be checked to make sure that it is legitimate.
Based on the evidence that we have so far, it appears that some very strange things are going on, and the American people deserve answers.
If we don’t get answers, millions upon millions of people will completely lose faith in the integrity of our elections. And once faith is gone, it will be exceedingly difficult for it to ever be restored.
What Comes from Persecution? - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Persecution is horrible. Nobody should have to live under persecution, but it’s been around a long, long time. The Jewish people have always been persecuted, but so have Christians. Jesus said it would happen. “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20. Persecution plagued Jesus all of His life. Jesus had begun His life among mankind humbly in a manger. Not exactly where one would expect to find the King of kings, but when the shepherds looked for Him, they knew exactly where to find Him. They had been given the good news by angels who told them where to find their Messiah. Later, Joseph moved the family to a house where the magi from the East paid a visit. They presented the Child with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and those expensive gifts would support the family as they fled to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Christian persecution began early.
When Jesus began His ministry, He had a small band of Jewish followers. Those men saw many miracles and heard the Gospel from God’s own lips. Those first followers of Christ faced persecution. Life in the Jewish community revolved around the Temple and the Pharisees had decreed that anyone who followed Jesus would be banned from sthe Temple. That meant business connections were severed, as well as friendships, family ties, and other necessities of their daily life. One Sabbath, Jesus healed a man who had been born blind. Rather than rejoicing over the healing, the Pharisees condemned the healing on the Sabbath and wouldn’t even believe the man was born blind. They called in his parents, who confirmed he had been born without sight. “But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.” John 9: 21-22. Persecution was growing.
Things continued to get worse after the Resurrection. Those who followed Christ and were absolutely sure that He was the Messiah, wouldn’t deny Him. The persecution these people faced caused them to pull together. Since they were no longer welcome among their Jewish family, they drew close together and took care of each other. “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:36-37. These first believers cared about each other during this time when persecution was taking away jobs and fellow Christians needed food. Their agape love was evident as they supported their fellow Christians. The persecution that was meant to break Christianity only strengthened the bond.
Then persecution became deadly. It began when Stephen was arrested on a false charge of blasphemy. Stephen was a man who had strong faith and didn’t hide it. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” Acts 6:8. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if every Christian could be described in such a manner? That’s exactly what got him in trouble with the Jewish authorities. Stephen defended himself by giving a history lesson which showed how the Jewish people had always missed God’s work the first time. Stephen was about to tell them they had missed their Messiah on His first coming, when, in a frenzy, the Sanhedrin stoned him. It was an ugly scene and a young man named Saul held their cloaks. “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Acts 8:1. The persecution in Jerusalem was the catalyst which began to spread the Good News from Jerusalem into the world. The strong bonds of brotherhood that were formed in the first days of Christianity weren’t broken, but were strengthened because of the persecution. When the Christians fled, they found themselves in faraway places, such as Damascus where they began reaching out to others and witnessing for Christ. At first, they sought other Jewish groups. Instead of turning their backs on Christ, they witnessed to those Jewish men and women and Christianity began to spread. It was the persecution that gave them the push, but the Holy Spirit led them.
Saul wasn’t satisfied with just stoning Stephen, and his desire to persecute any Jewish person who embraced Christ was strong. So, he went after those who had fled from Jerusalem. “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” Acts 9:1-2. Persecution was growing stronger against Christians, but God had other plans. On the way to Damascus, Saul was confronted by Jesus. There was a bright light that surrounded him and a voice was heard. “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?” Acts 9:4. Jesus got to the heart of the matter. It wasn’t the people who were being persecuted, but it was Jesus. People like Saul saw the Christian faith as the problem instead of seeing Christ as the solution. Because of the mercy of God, Saul repented and his life was totally changed. Instead of persecuting Christians, Paul (Saul) became a powerful missionary who spread the Gospel far and wide. Brothers and sisters, persecution is coming to America very soon. Remember, it’s not us they hate. They hate Jesus. Somehow, we need to show His love to the lost. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44-45. Jesus says that we need to love those who persecute us. That settles it.
You might believe persecution couldn’t happen in America. After all, we have a Constitution which guarantees us the right to assemble peacefully and speak freely. It seems that those rights only protect the liberals of today who embrace Satan’s lies. It seems as if it’s perfectly within the Constitutional rights to riot and destroy property, but not to meet in church and sing. We can read and hear liberal news and posts on social media, but just try to promote conservative views and you’ll be banned from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Satan has successfully gagged preachers, stopping them from teaching God’s view of homosexuality and other government sanctioned sins, by giving tax exemptions to those who are willingly silenced. Today there’s a virus that Satan is using to separate Christians and silence us. That evil creature is successfully closing our places of worship and stopping us from publicly praising our Lord. This virus blindsided Christians who willingly isolate, refuse to shake hands, and won’t greet each other with a warm embrace even though Scripture directs us to just that. Christians need to listen to the words of Peter, who was told not to preach in the name of Jesus or face prison. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29. True believers will honor God, even in the face of persecution. It’s becoming harder and harder to tell true believers from those who are just pew-warmers. Scripture tells us to greet each other with a holy kiss…or a handshake and a hug. Scripture says not to stop assembling together. Scripture tells us that when we are sick to call for the elders to lay hands on us and pray. Have you done any of those things lately, or are you cowering in fear?
God never changes. Jesus existed before the beginning of creation and He will be the same through eternity. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. People haven’t change, what with our fallen nature, our selfish desires, and our pitiful way of twisting God’s truth to fit Satan’s lies. Many Christians mimic the fallen world and embrace sin so only God knows if their faith is real. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33. You might avoid persecution by espousing the ways of the world, but in doing so you deny God. If you’re travelling the same direction as Satan, he won’t bother you, so if you don’t feel persecuted then perhaps you need to pick up your Bible and start applying it to your life. Many Christians around the world face persecution and the very real threat against their lives because of their faith. If Christians in America don’t start standing on God’s truth and speaking up, we will become as persecuted as those in other nations. Peter and the other Apostles wouldn’t be silenced. They had no fear of what man would do, but had faith in what God had done. In spite of persecution, they would not be silenced.
Brothers and sisters, if you study your Bible you know that we are rapidly approaching the end of days. Daniel’s 70th week will hold many horrors that have never been seen before. What is restraining the evil from being unleashed? Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and His supernatural power within us restrains the supernatural evil of Satan. Christians quench the power of the Holy Spirit by ignoring Him and embracing the ways of the world. That might keep you from being persecuted, but it denies God. God has not weakened, but there are fewer people who are willing to face persecution rather than deny God. One day very soon, all Christians will be Raptured. That’s when literally all hell will break loose. Satan will no longer be restrained and his evil will permeate all of mankind. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8. The Greek word “katecho” is translated “withholdeth” and “letteth” and means to “hold back, restrain…that which hinders the Antichrist from making his appearance”. When Christians are Raptured, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be no more. The Holy Spirit will still work during those final seven years and it will still be possible to accept Christ for salvation, but if you aren’t willing to face persecution for Him today, you certainly won’t be willing to be beheaded for your faith then. Don’t live in a “gray area”. Put full trust in Jesus today.
Persecution isn’t new, but it does separate true believers from those who just give lip-service to Christ. In times past it forged unbreakable bonds between Christians and served to spread the Gospel. What will it do today? That’s up to each Christian. Will you stand upon God’s word in spite of persecution, or will you hide your faith under a cloak of fear? Be sure your choice is the Biblical choice.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: In the hands of God – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Joe Biden stated: “Now, every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us, not now, not ever.” The Biden game plan is surmised by his words that every vote must be counted in the name of democracy. This is not just political rhetoric. Biden and the Democratic Party demand that every vote be counted. This is code for every vote cast, whether it was legal or not. It is not coincidence that President Trump wins most every state, and the contested ones remaining have Democratic governors that just so happen to have enough votes in reserve to win the electoral college if all votes are counted. This is what the Trump campaign and America must fight, if we are to remain a Constitutional Republic.
The Founders of this nation purposely rejected an outright democracy—the supreme law of majority rule—opting instead for a Constitutional Republic, where the rule of law protects the minority as equal to the majority. We are a nation of laws where eligible voters cast their votes with balanced representation as prescribed by the electoral college. If the majority rules without this protection, there is a breakdown in law. In essence, the law becomes whatever the majority dictates at the time of the vote. The Democrats could not beat Trump outright, and they knew it, so they used the COVID crisis to change the law with mail in ballots that can be counted after the election deadlines. The longer the votes are allowed past the deadlines—like in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and other states in play—the more chance of fraud.
How, for example, can 200,000 ballots be brought forth and all 200,000 were cast for Biden, as in Wisconsin, and none, zero, be cast for Trump? This statistically is improbable. But this is how elections are stolen. They are votes held in the balance, those that were harvested from many sources (i.e. cemeteries, illegal immigrants, felons, etc.) are bagged up and presented in closed rooms where Republican poll watchers are forbidden because the Democrats run the precincts in the big cities. Every vote counts is the battle cry, but in recounts illegitimate votes are disqualified. This is why Biden wants every vote cast to count. Majority rule. Rule of law changes if the majority says it must change. This is tyranny, not a Constitutional Republic as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
For me, I am a one-issue voter—The precepts of God over all others. Religious freedom is a foundation stone to all other freedoms. As we watch and pray over the next few days, recall Abraham’s heartfelt and passionate discussion with God over Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:27-33: Abraham said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord… Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten (righteous) should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” I know there are more than ten righteous in our great America. Plead in prayer to the Lord that he spares us from this injustice. It is but in the Lord’s hands. His will be done.
Daily Devotion: It’s Not a Cakewalk; It’s a Conflict - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. —John 10:10
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/its-not-a-cakewalk-its-a-conflict/ - Listen
Some Christians are surprised to find that life as a follower of Jesus is not a cakewalk; it’s a conflict. It is not a playground; it’s a battleground.
It isn’t a question of whether you’re going to be in a spiritual war. In this particular battle, you cannot choose to be a pacifist because you’ll die on the battlefield if you do.
The day you committed your life to Jesus Christ was the day the Devil declared war on you. He had you where he wanted you before. He was quite happy with that arrangement. But you weren’t. Neither was I. That’s why we turned to Christ.
Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).
The Bible tells us that the god of this age, Satan, blinded our eyes (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). It tells us that we were taken captive by him to do his will (see 2 Timothy 2:6). But we got sick and tired of being ripped off, so we put our faith in Christ.
Of course, the Devil isn’t happy about this. And he isn’t going to take it lying down. In fact, he’ll do everything he can to trip you up or defeat you on this battlefield.
Someone has wisely pointed out that conversion has made our hearts a battlefield. Anyone who chooses to be on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ will face severe opposition from Satan and his followers.
So the question is this: Are you going to win or lose in this spiritual war? Are you going to advance, or are you going to retreat? Will you gain ground, or will you lose ground? There are no other alternatives.
FROM THE HEART
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